Hyperthyroid kitty and transdermsl methimazole

melissa

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My 14 year old cat Jack was recently diagnosed as hyperthyroid. He was prescribed transdermal methimazole that we have to rub into the skin inside his ear flap twice a day. I have to apply it with gloves as it can go through my skin barrier as well. I have a couple questions that I didn’t ask my vet at the time. Is this a medication cats normally have to take for the rest of their lives and what precautions do I have to take when I’m petting him after the application. How long before it is all absorbed? I’ve been avoiding petting his head at all but he really loves his pets.
 

carebearbaby1

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Vet tech here, yes he'll need to be on the medication for the rest of his life. Your vet will do yearly bloodwork to make sure his thyroid levels are correct, or if his dosage needs to be changed. The medicine absorbs quickly and you can absolutely still pet his head. Just don't rub the ear you medicated. Make sure you switch ears each time you treat and wipe the ear flaps daily to prevent build up. They also make methimazol in a pill form. The pills are small and can easily be hidden in a bite of canned food if that would be easier for you.
 

Twylasmom

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Look for finger cots instead of full gloves, much cheaper in the long run!
 
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melissa

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Vet tech here, yes he'll need to be on the medication for the rest of his life. Your vet will do yearly bloodwork to make sure his thyroid levels are correct, or if his dosage needs to be changed. The medicine absorbs quickly and you can absolutely still pet his head. Just don't rub the ear you medicated. Make sure you switch ears each time you treat and wipe the ear flaps daily to prevent build up. They also make methimazol in a pill form. The pills are small and can easily be hidden in a bite of canned food if that would be easier for you.
How long after applying the medication do I wait to clean the ear flap? It’s hard to keep track of which ear I’ve done because he becomes the Tasmanian devil when I have to do anything like this to him lol
 

carebearbaby1

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Clean the one ear when you treat the other. Maybe try doing the left in the morning and the right in the evening, so you can remember. Right = night. If he's that stressed about it I'd def ask your vet about trying the pills. If he likes canned food or soft treats you can hide it and he'll never know.
 

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If your vet didn't discuss this with you, you should know there is another option called I-131 radioactive iodine treatment. This is expensive (normally around $1500 USD), but it is a complete cure that permanently kills off the overactive thyroid. It's also very safe without the side effects of methimazole.

Methimazole only treats the symptoms, not the source, meanwhile the thyroid continues to grow and become more aggressive. Hyperthyroidism is very rough on the entire body, so if you are able to pursue the radioiodine cure, I highly recommend it. I did it with my 16 year old and it made a huge difference for her quality of life.
 
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melissa

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If your vet didn't discuss this with you, you should know there is another option called I-131 radioactive iodine treatment. This is expensive (normally around $1500 USD), but it is a complete cure that permanently kills off the overactive thyroid. It's also very safe without the side effects of methimazole.

Methimazole only treats the symptoms, not the source, meanwhile the thyroid continues to grow and become more aggressive. Hyperthyroidism is very rough on the entire body, so if you are able to pursue the radioiodine cure, I highly recommend it. I did it with my 16 year old and it made a huge difference for her quality of life.
My vet didn’t mention this but I will definitely ask. Jack has other health issues we are trying to get under control at the moment- a spinal infection and low potassium. After those meds are done it may be a good idea to look into fixing the thyroid instead of treating the symptoms like you said. Thank you so much!
 

fionasmom

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I was very successfully able to hide the pill in BFF cat food for years. Fiona ate it every day and there were almost no misses. She was affectionate, but I don't know if she would have sat still for the med in the ear. Pills are very small sized.
Thyroid pill.JPG
 
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melissa

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Jack eats only wet food, so he doesn’t see that as a treat for me to hide a pill in- he also eats with 3 other cats and they tend to bowl trade as they are eating. I thought about trying the pill in some of the lickable senior cat treat paste or even some sardine. I think he could get somewhat used to the ear meds I just worry about my mother in law having to wrangle him to apply it when we go on vacations.
 

molly92

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My vet didn’t mention this but I will definitely ask. Jack has other health issues we are trying to get under control at the moment- a spinal infection and low potassium. After those meds are done it may be a good idea to look into fixing the thyroid instead of treating the symptoms like you said. Thank you so much!
Poor thing, I hope he gets better from those soon!

Hypurrcat has a good website to learn more about it if you're interested.
 
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melissa

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Thank you so much! Everyone on here is always so helpful and kind! 😊
 

carebearbaby1

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Jack eats only wet food, so he doesn’t see that as a treat for me to hide a pill in- he also eats with 3 other cats and they tend to bowl trade as they are eating. I thought about trying the pill in some of the lickable senior cat treat paste or even some sardine. I think he could get somewhat used to the ear meds I just worry about my mother in law having to wrangle him to apply it when we go on vacations.
You could give him the pill in just a bite of canned food right before you feed them. That way you know he took it and then feed them like normal. Then you don't have to worry about who got it.
 
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